Local Craftsman Creates Vintage-Style Mosaic Curb Appeal

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Mosaic Vintage-Style

Curb appeal starts, well, at the curb! Have you noticed mosaic vintage-style addresses and street names appearing around town? Maybe you’ve seen them on the curb, but they also appear on sidewalks and steps and are absolutely beautiful. If you’re lucky, you’ve got one. If not, get on the list!

Mosaic Vintage-Style

Some time ago, one of my neighbor’s, Karen Albracht, sent me an email. She had spotted a tiny ad in a local weekly newspaper for a gentleman named Arthur Gonzales, who created mosaic vintage-style addresses. 

“I had seen addresses like this in California and thought it was so cool that someone was doing it here,” Albracht said.  “I tore out the ad and put it on my fridge for a long time. Then, one day I called and found out more. The  single thing about Arthur’s story that struck me was he had a cool idea, taught himself how to do it, and it turned out to be exceptional work.”

Albracht was the first person to have her address created in the neighborhood and was so impressed with Gonzales’ work that she designed a portfolio and brochure for him. Then she put the word out on the app, Nextdoor. Hey, that’s the way Hollywood Heights rolls!  Albracht also invited me to meet him because she’s an avid reader of Candysdirt.com and knew this story was right up my alley.

Mosaic Vintage-Style

Of course, there’s a real estate connection! Gonzales’ wife is a Realtor and a few years ago asked if he could create a vintage address number for one of her clients. It was a major success, business began rolling in, and suddenly Gonzales had another job in addition to his full-time gig.

As often happens, the stars had been aligning all along. You see, Gonzales grew up helping his dad do tile work. So he had that skillset. Part of his full-time job is to ensure the safety of workers for his company. So, he traverses a good swath of the city on a regular basis. He began noticing remnants of tile street addresses in older parts of Dallas. Then he got curious and started a bit of research, ending up at City Hall in the basement with the City of Dallas archivist John Slate.

“He knows everything,” Gonzales said. “I found out early 20th-century urban developers preferred these mosaic tile street signs over the practice of painted curbs in their efforts to showcase special areas.” 

Mosaic Vintage-Style

It makes perfect sense. Mosaic vintage-style addresses don’t fade, show up easily when a headlight shines on them, and of course, they are beautiful.

During Gonzales’ research, he came across Gilbert Aguilar, who was with the City of Dallas for over thirty years in the Department of Street Services. He eventually became the director and had the same love of these mosaic street addresses. He wanted a way to document this part of our history, so he curated a collection of items that included salvaged curbs with the original mosaic tile addresses, vintage parking meters, tools, logbooks, and other historical street department items. 

Mosaic Vintage-Style

So, a lost art is found again, and we all get to enjoy it. You can bet I immediately booked Gonzales for my mosaic vintage-style curb appeal. It takes him about three hours, and he loves doing it. “The self-made part is what appeals to me,” Gonzales said. “I have the skillset, it’s not a service you expect to find, and it’s interesting!”

Mosaic Vintage-Style

Remember, this is not his full-time job, so Gonzales fits this in after work or on the weekends. In other words, we know you will want your own curb appeal so reserve your spot now. 

Mosaic Vintage-Style

And if you’re selling a home, this is going to grab the eye of your potential buyers the moment they arrive!

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Karen Eubank

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for over 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying for his masters at The New England Conservatory of Music. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap.

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  1. LonestarBabs says

    The city is getting ready to tear up my neighborhood streets and pour fresh concrete. I just had my curb painted with house numbers and Texas star a few months ago. That will be destroyed, leaving me with a blank new curb. Hmmmm….this vintage tile approach might be the right finishing touch!

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